The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the services rendered by government are numerous and are for
the most part readily observable. It is from Walt Mason, who
was a pleasing rhymer of the 1930's, that one finds:
Perhaps there is a happy land where no assessors take their stand,
demanding coin men cannot spare, imposing loads they cannot bear.
... I'd find out to my bitter cost that tax-free countries are a frost.
... A thousand things which make life great would all be missing in
that state where tax collectors do not roam to tax you out of house
In the history of taxation in Texas the most historical case of
a concerted state-wide protest again taxation was the Taxpayers'
Convention which met in Austin on September 22, 23, and 24,
1871. This group, including 21x7 delegates from ninety-four coun-
ties, met in protest against property taxes. The epithet of "a body
of sulks and soreheads" applied to it by the radicals could not
be supported against a convention that included former gover-
nors James W. Throckmorton, Elisha M. Pease, Andrew J. Ham-
ilton, and other leading men of Texas.
The following account of the development of the Texas state
tax system shows an evolution of methods appropriate, to a de-
gree, to the changes in the structure of the state's economy, to
the introduction of new enterprises, to the expansion of occu-
pations, and to the diversification and growth of the wealth and
income of the people of the state. A tax may be defined as a
compulsory payment for the support of the government and for
other public purposes. For the support of the government history
shows reliance on business taxes and selective sales taxes. Taxes
which have in them the non-fiscal element of regulation, such as
liquor licenses and licenses of service occupations, have also
With the exceptions of the poll and inheritance taxes and that
part of the property tax which falls on owner-occupied homes
and on personal consumption property the Texas taxes are, for
the most part, of the nature of "hidden taxes." This is true of
the taxes whose impact is on businesses, for while there is uncer-
tainty as to the division of their incidence among sellers, con-
sumers, wage earners, and suppliers of materials, it is not unlikely
that there is some shifting to consumers through price. There is
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/24/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.